The United States armed forces sent a drone to bomb Iran’s general Qasem Soleimani’s car Friday near Baghdad. He was buried this morning in Tehran. En passant, Trump’s expedition also murdered five or six (even the top US outlets are vague on the exact number) other people who happened to be near him. This is a double illegal act by the US: it is illegal for the USA to go kill an Iranian without any due process or even a declaration of war on Iran, just as it is illegal to send a drone into the sovereign country like Iraq to kill an Iranian and the five or six Iraqis nearby. So, international law seems to have been suspended by the USA. Trump, it must be made clear, was not the first. Barack Obama normalized this outrageous breach of international law and tradition by sending in drones to “take out” people (mainly missing them, and killing hundreds of women, children and old men), and notoriously botched the “taking out” of Osama Bin Laden. (See our article tomorrow on “key words” that will explain a few terms like “taking out” “terrorist” and “proxy”.)
Law or no law, it is clearly immoral to go into another country and take out people. Clearly it is a form of terrorism. Conducted by a state actor does not mean it is not terrorism.
No imminent threat from Iran has been described, let alone proven by Trump or his spokesmen.
Worse still, many commentators in the US, all over the world and in Mauritius, see the murder as a way for Trump to both change the subject from his impeachment (and the mounting proof of his outrageous utilization of foreign governments to get dirt on his local political adversaries) and at the same attempt to rally some sort of American nationalism around the President. To some extent this has worked: all the news is now on what Trump has done, and what he says in his Tweets, and all commentators are in a chorus to say that Soleimani was a bad guy, needed to be got rid of, and then finding fault with the timing and other details of Trump’s outrageous attack.
Trump began by just unilaterally annulling the binding Iran Treaty
This all comes after Trump, off his own bat, just rescinds US participation in the binding Treaty signed with all the major powers, including the USA. This was a Treaty that prevented Iran from developing nuclear power in exchange for lifting sanctions. It was not just a “deal” that Trump has made everyone start calling it. It is a Treaty. There is a whole history of international tradition and law that upholds this kind of treaty. Then, as well as leaving the Treaty, the US imposed even worse sanctions on Iran. Then it went further. When the other main powers, including European countries, attempt to maintain the Treaty and thus lift sanctions, the US imposes sanctions on these countries’ companies.
So, now, by assassinating one of Iran’s top generals, the US has just taken one further step in heading inexorably towards war in the Middle East.
At the same time, the Iraqi parliament met yesterday (Sunday) and took a resolution, in response to the flagrant violation of its sovereignty, to call on the Government to prepare for calling for total US troops withdrawal from Iraq. This reflects a growing anti-imperialist movement in the Middle East.
Trump’s response is that Iraq will have to pay the USA back for the cost of the US military base built there. This is so bizarre as to be comic. (It should, however, make Pravind Jugnauth realize how absurd it is for him to ask for “enn lamone” from Trump for the base on Diego Garcia; Jugnauth should prepare instead to refuse to pay Trump “enn lamone” for him to lev pake, ale!) In addition, Trump threatens Iraq with sanctions.
While Trump claims he is making the world “safer”, he has had to send over 3,000 more troops to the Middle East, all in stand-by mode in Kuwait, and has given orders to all US citizens to leave Iraq at once by any means possible. It seems he believes he has made the world less safe – at least for Americans.
In LALIT, we believe that Trump, and his allies, the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Saudi Arabia autocracy’s Mohamed Bin Salman, are responsible for creating this dangerous escalation towards war. We will need to prepare for a new wave of anti-war demonstrations.
Libya Being Brought to edge of Implosion and Explosion Mode
At the same time, there is a second “fwaye” building. In Libya, famous for the purity of its oil on extraction, a number of countries are openly backing the war lord, Khalifa Aftar, who is bombing Tripoli, where the UN-recognized government is still holding out. These countries supporting the bandit are the military dictatorship in Egypt, US and Saudi Arabia’s ally the UAE, France and Russia. This, too, is outrageous. This too is dangerous escalation. Now Turkey, also with interests in Libya, has called its Parliament hurriedly at the year’s beginning, to get a resolution enabling it to send troops to Libya to defend the UN recognized Government against the war lord Aftar. So, while Russia and Turkey are allies, and while Russia is NATO’s main “enemy” and Turkey is a NATO member, Russia and Turkey are on opposite sides in this looming war scene. And now Aftar has declared a “jihad” against Turkey.
The importance of Libya is that, not only did the country have production and employment for all its citizens, but it also had between one and two million people from Africa (to the South of Libya) working there on long-term contracts. People came and went in a perfectly legal job-contractor system, and this had been true for decades, until the US went and “took out” the dictator Colonel Ghadafi, with Obama and Hilary Clinton jubilating in the mise-en-scene for TV. The total destruction of Libyan society is what has created the basis for the massive emigration to Europe. This will now worsen as Libya collapses further.
A third event happened at the same time. There was the signature in Greece of a Treaty between Greece, Israel and Cyprus for an under-sea cable for Israel’s reserves of natural gas through the Mediterranean. The 1,900 kilometer pipeline being built by EastMed will also be linked to electricity production, and aims to supply some 4% of Europe’s needs. As they were signing the Treaty, Netanyahu had to hurry back to Israel because of the assassination by the USA of the Iranian General Soleimani. As it is, Netanyahu is in the middle of a criminal case for corruption, and has a third election looming. He, like Trump, will try to raise militarist nationalism as part of this electoral campaign.
The “low” of human cynicism in late capitalism is very low.
Political Struggle for Socialism is Vital
All the more reason for us to commit to organizing politically (and not just in unions and not just in social organizations) in order to assure that as capitalism destroys the planet – through war, through plunder that threatens extinction, and through pollution that threatens all of nature, including the climate – we are in readiness for the construction of socialism.
Ram Seegobin and Lindsey Collen